3 Reasons Not to Pick Your Own Locks

Posted on: 11 May 2017

If you're locked out of your house, you may be tempted to pick the lock to get back in. However, unless you are experienced and have professional-level tools, you should never try to pick a lock on your own. Here's a look at what can happen and how a 24-hour locksmith can help you avoid these risks.

1. Inexpert Picking May Damage the Chamber

Most door locks, whether they are deadbolts or simple handle locks, consist of a chamber, and inside the chamber is a series of pins that must be pressed down to unlock the lock. The key for the lock has just the right bumps and grooves to carefully push down all the pins at the same time, and when you pick a lock, you try to replicate this process with another tool.

While the idea of picking a lock with a hair pin may seem romantic and magical, it's much harder than it looks, and more importantly, jamming a hairpin into the lock may end up damaging the chamber or the pins. As a result, you won't be able to open that lock at all.

At that point, you will need to call a locksmith to repair or replace the lock. In contrast, if you had called the locksmith right away, he or she could use their tools to engage the pins without damaging anything. Also, quality locksmiths carry insurance, so in the very rare case where something goes wrong, you won't have to worry about incurring any extra costs.

2. Weak Cases Break Easily

In other situations, inexpert lock picking can crack the entire case of the lock. Imagine trying to open a deadbolt with a small screw driver. You put just a bit too much pressure in one direction, and the screwdriver ends up breaking the lock. This can easily happen, especially with inexpensive locks.

Locksmith tools, in contrast, are designed to go straight into the chamber. As a result, they don't generate undue pressure in ways that may break a lock.

3. Tools Can Get Stuck

Even if the lock doesn't break or become damaged, the tool you use to pick the lock can get stuck in the lock. This is a particular risk with anything that is not expressly designed to work as a locksmith tool. For example, wire hangers, knives, paper clips or other household items fashioned into locksmith tools can easily break inside of the lock.

If you are locked out of your home, contact a 24-hour locksmith at a company like Border Locksmiths to help you. If you want to learn about lock picking, buy a beginner's kit and play with padlocks or other locks that aren't connected to the doors of your home.